A Cautious Path Forward on Accountable Care Organizations

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 305, No. 6, February 2011

2 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2012  

Barak D. Richman

Duke University - School of Law

Kevin A. Schulman

Duke University Medical Center

Date Written: February 9, 2011

Abstract

The wave of new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), spurred by financial incentives in the Affordable Care Act, could become the latest chapter in the steady accumulation of market power by hospitals, health care systems, and physician groups. The main purpose behind forming many ACOs may not be to achieve cost savings but instead to strengthen negotiating power over purchasers in the private sector. This would be an unfortunate sequel to the waves of mergers in the 1990s when health care entities sought to counter market pressure from managed care organizations. The possibility that ACOs might further concentrate health care markets brings new urgency to understanding why provider monopolies are pernicious and to considering how government can ensure that ACOs pursue efficiency rather than market power.

Suggested Citation

Richman, Barak D. and Schulman, Kevin A., A Cautious Path Forward on Accountable Care Organizations (February 9, 2011). Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 305, No. 6, February 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2163721

Barak D. Richman (Contact Author)

Duke University - School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7244 (Phone)
919-613-7231 (Fax)

Kevin A. Schulman

Duke University Medical Center ( email )

Durham, NC 27715
United States

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